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Running out of Disk Space

Posted on 2011-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello Experts,
I have a customer who has a Dell PowerEdge 2950.  The server has two drives and a Raid 1 configuration.  At present, the machine is quite low on disk space and the owner is looking for other options rather than using an extenal drive and reloading the machine with newer larger drives.
He has asked me about the option of breaking the miror so to use the extra drive as storage space.
Although I have advised him against this ( not even quite sure it could be done without some kind of weird software or data loss) I did tell him I would look into to.
So can you convert from raid 1 to raid 0 on the fly without data loss ?
Also, does anybody else have another suggestion to solve this problem ?

Thanks
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Question by:sat444
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Glen Knight earned 100 total points
ID: 35183721
You can break the volume without data loss but this is dependent upon the RAID controller.

How many drive bays do you have? Storage is cheap enough it makes sense to add more disks.

There is also software that will allow you to image the current volume, and restore it to bigger disks.
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by:jkratzer
jkratzer earned 100 total points
ID: 35183786
RAID 1 being just a mirror, you should be able to break the mirror without dificulty.

The 2950 has 6 drive slots available and with disks being cheap, your best bet would be to add a few more drives in a RAID 5 configuation and move the data from the existing drives to the new disks.  This is your least chance of failure option within this enclosure.
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by:ManicD
ManicD earned 100 total points
ID: 35183812
you can get a 2TB drive for £65 from ebuyer, if you need a sata card thats only £15.

Tell the guy to stop being stupid!!!

Else, yes if you pull one drive from the raid you will break the raid but maintain the data and then you can format it and reattach as a separate drive.
as for on the fly, are you talking no down time? that would all depend on your hardware/software combination for the raid controller
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 35183831
Ask him how important that information/server is.  If he doesn't care if it's down for a few days, then fine, run without RAID.  If the server does anything important, he would be EXTREMELY unwise to do this.  Remember, the disks WILL fail.  It's not a question of if, but a question of WHEN (and how old are they anyway - the older the greater chance of failure).
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by:sat444
ID: 35183899
Oops - sorry guys ( i have poweredge 2950's on my brain)
The server is actually a PE R200.  It only has two drive slots.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 35183912
Still... you can replace one drive, rebuild the mirror, then replace the other... once done, you should be able to expand the RAID container and then the partitions and/or create new partitions.
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by:sat444
ID: 35183960
Leew:
can you point me at any documentation on best practices for this ?
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